President Donald Trump has signed off on a bilateral agreement with Mexico to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement, and an announcement is expected later Monday, according to two people familiar with the matter.
“A big deal looking good with Mexico!” Trump tweeted Monday.
There is no deal reached yet with Canada, the people said. As has been the case over a year of intense and sometimes fractious negotiations to update the decades-old Nafta, it’s not the end of the road. But optimism is running high of salvaging the pact that Trump has threatened to scrap.
Significant breakthroughs between Mexico and the U.S. came during the past several days on automobiles and energy, according to three people familiar with the process who asked not to be named discussing private talks.
There is one bilateral difference left to iron out, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told reporters on Monday as he entered the Washington office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s office where negotiations are going on. He declined to identify the issue.
Along with Canada, they’ve been negotiating for a year to overhaul the 24-year-old accord at Trump’s insistence. The U.S. president says the deal has led to hundreds of thousands of lost American jobs, and he promised to either change it to be more favorable to the U.S., or withdraw.
The U.S. push to finish Nafta talks comes at the same time it’s in a spiraling trade war with China, and has threatened to place tariffs on cars imported from major manufacturing centers in Asia and Europe — efforts that have created new uncertainty for many businesses and investors.
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